Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Radiation Sensitivity and Quality of Fresh-Cut Vegetables Exposed to Gamma Radiation

Authors
item Fan, Xuetong
item Niemira, Brendan
item Rajkowski, Kathleen
item Sokorai, Kimberly

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 2005
Publication Date: December 1, 2006
Citation: Fan, X., Niemira, B.A., Rajkowski, K.T., Sokorai, K.J. 2006. Radiation sensitivity and quality of fresh-cut vegetables exposed to gamma radiation. IAEA, July 22-30, 2005, Islamabad, Pakistan. p. 286-293.

Technical Abstract: Thirteen fresh-cut (minimally processed) vegetables (broccoli, cilantro, red cabbage, endive, parsley, green and red leaf lettuce, Iceberg and Romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, green onions, and celery) plus alfalfa sprouts were gamma irradiated at doses up to 3 kGy at 0.5 kGy intervals. The samples were then stored in air at 4°C for 14 days. At the beginning and end of 14 day storage, electrolyte leakage, visual quality, and sogginess were assessed. Results showed that electrolyte leakage of vegetables increased linearly with increasing radiation doses when measured immediately after irradiation. Radiation dose threshold, defined as the dose at which electrolyte leakage was significantly (P<0.05) increased, varied among vegetables, ranging from 2.44 kGy for broccoli to 0.60 kGy for carrots. Irradiation had no effect on visual quality on the day of irradiation. After 14 days of storage, the responses of individual vegetables to ionizing radiation varied greatly. Irradiation, especially at lower doses, improved visual quality, and reduced sogginess and electrolyte leakage of many vegetables. It appears that most tested vegetables can tolerate 0.6 kGy radiation based on appearance and electrolyte leakage measurements. The implication and limitation of the results are discussed.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014